Recap: Last time out we managed to arrest our terrible form and started to look like we had actually played cricket before. Unfortunately, it was against Surrey who are top and we still got crushed.
We win the toss – that’s two in a row! – and we opt to bowl, like last time.
Daniel Bell-Drummond and Zak Crawley stroll to the wicket looking to go big. I tweak field settings and tell Jofra Archer to get it right up them. Archer’s over is fine and goes for only six.
Mitchell Claydon comes on and his first ball is a dot. His second leads Crawley into chipping one to Laurie Evans at short leg.
However, this is just a false start for us when Bell-Drummond and Joe Denly start blazing. Kent are soon 54-1 and Olly Robinson’s first over has travelled for 12.
I haul him off and send on Ravi Bopara and Chris Jordan. Ravi goes for 7 and Jordan the same in two balls but he reprieves himself by getting Denly with his third ball. He goes for 33 off 18 and Kent are 68-2
These two actually manage to tie them down and Shimron Hetmyer doesn’t look like he can get it off the square, which is nice.
Not only does Ravi tie the run rate down but, in his fourth over, he gets Hetmyer to snick on and Jordan takes a good catch low to his left at first slip. 85-3
South African Heino Khan comes to the wicket and makes 5 off 4 balls to try and wrest some control back.
I bring on Delray Rawlins who gets smacked for a 6 first ball. However, his little spinners are enough to draw Bell-Drummond into missing a straight one and he’s leg before wicket for 47. 121-4
Sam Billings almost goes to David Wiese second ball but the ball is swinging too far down the leg side. It doesn’t help him as he then follows his England colleague Crawley by chipping one to Evans at the short leg. 129-5
Alex Blake comes out and then heads back in. Wiese traps him lbw and he goes for a big fat zip. 129-6
Next up is pensioner Darren Stevens who is just a class act at 44. Apparently the wily old veteran likes the offside so I need to tweak our bowling plans again, damn him.
It only bloody works though and he is also heading back to his bed pan for a duck – 129-7 and Wiese has the first hat trick of my time in charge.
I toy with taking off Rawlins but then think I’m best leaving well alone. First ball of that over, Kuhn chips one to mid off and he’s caught by Robinson. 129-8
Kent have now lost 5 for 8.
Hardus Viljoen decides to up the run rate but Rawlins gets him for 10. 147-9
Archer bowls the death and they end 153-9. Chasable but decent.
Evans sets off apace, plundering grandad Stevens for 9. The ancient one gets his revenge mopping him up last ball of the over lbw. 9-1
Shehan Jayasuriya snicks off from the bowling of Harry Podmore and Billings takes the catch. 2-17
In support, Rawlins survives not one but two shouts in his first two balls.
He returns with a six the next ball. He then looses his shoulders and begins hitting them to all parts of the grounds.
Luke Wright, who has wasted everyone’s time with 13 off 21 balls manages to let Nabi bowl him. 58-3.
We’re really doing a good impression of looking like we’re going to throw this away as well. Which is certainly “on brand” for us in this format.
That begins to look even more likely when Rawlins gets clean bowled by Viljoen for 27. 58-4 and he’s beaten for pace.
Wiese manages to get out, leg before to Nabi. 64-5
Jonty Jenner and Ravi poxy Bopara are our last hope. The run rate creeps to over 10 an over.
We end up needing 30 from the final over. Darren geriatric Stevens has gone for 11 from his three overs. I long for him to have a heart attack and die.
Jenner and Bopara’s stand of 71 is a new batting record but we fall short by 18 runs.
We are still rock bottom of the table.